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Examine different way in which good is used in Meta-Ethics.

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Introduction

Examine different way in which good is used in Meta-Ethics. There are many different theories in Meta Ethics, which help us understand the meaning and use of 'good'. The theories in question are Ethical Non-naturalism, Ethical Naturalism and Ethical Non cognitivism. These theories are also known as Definism, intuitionism and emotivism. In Ethical Naturalism, or Definism, right and wrong, good and bad are all taken and understood as facts. Any ethical naturalist statements must be verifiable. An example of this is: 'Princess Diana died in 1997'. This statement is a factual statement, in that it did occur and that it can be verified. However another statement can also be considered as factual in the eyes of an ethical naturalist: 'Princess Diana was a kind and caring person.' An ethical naturalist would find that this statement is verifiable in much the same way as the first statement, 'princess Diana died in 1997'. This is because one can find out whether princess Diana was kind and caring by investigating her character and her attitude towards people or whether her actions had kind and caring consequences. ...read more.

Middle

He also talks about his open and closed question. This when a question answer itself. For example, ' Bryan has a sister, but is she female?' now a sister is a female sibling and therefore the question 'but is she female?' is already answered. Therefore this question is a closed question as it is answered already. An open question on the other hand does not answer the question, for example, 'I hate chocolate, but do you?' this is a question which does not have an answer within it and so it is open for more answers. Another great disadvantage with this theory is that because the statements are opinions and most of them are verified by opinions, it could be right/good one day and wrong/bad the next. As a result of his critiscim towards ethical naturalists, Moore comes up with his own moral theory, Ethical Non-naturalism. Moore states that we cannot describe what 'good' is and so how can we decide what id\s good and what is not. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the outcome of your actions may not be a very good one, this is not a 'good' thing to do. Moore's conclusion: 'If I am asked 'what is good?' my answer is good is good, and that is the end of the matter.' Good can also be determined by emotion. This is where Ethical non-cognitivism (emotivism) comes in. emotivism is when a moral judgement is expressed in a statement. For example, 'Hitler was an evil man' is someone's judgment saying I don't like him. In short, emotivism is someone's statement being simply based on emotions, and purely reflecting on the feelings of the person saying it. In addition an ethical statement gives us know knowledge, as it is a personal theory. The English philosopher, A.J Ayer states that their function is purely emotive. He also comes up with the 'Boo, Hurrah' theory, i.e., Mary thinks stealing is wrong, Tyler thinks stealing is right, in another words they are saying boo for stealing and hurrah for stealing. An emotive statement is an expression of approval or disapproval. Saori Yoshimoto 12J ...read more.

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